Acrylamide-induced chromosomal damage in male mouse germ cells detected by cytogenetic analysis of one-cell zygotes

Francesca Pacchierotti, Cecilia Tiveron, Massimo D'Archivio, Bruno Bassani, Eugenia Cordelli, Giorgio Leter, Marcello Spanò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Within a project coordinated by the Commission of the European Communities for the detection of germ cell mutagens, the cytogenetic analysis of first-cleavage metaphases was carried out to detect chromosomal damage induced by acrylamide (AA) in meiotic and postmeiotic stages of mouse spermatogenesis. Male mice were intraperitoneally injected with single acute doses of 75 or 125 mg/kg or treated with five daily injections of 50 mg/kg and mated either 7 or 28 days after the end of treatment. Chromosomal aberrations were scored in C-banded metaphases prepared from one-cell zygotes by a mass harvest technique. AA treatment of late spermatids-spermatozoa resulted in significant increases of structural aberrations at all doses tested. The data could be fitted to a curvilinear regression and a doubling dose of 23 mg/kg was calculated. The large majority of observed aberrations were of the chromosome type, including dicentrics, rings and translocations, in agreement with a mechanism of chromosomal damage mediated through the alkylation of DNA-associated protamines. Even though the frequency of aberrations 28 days after treatment was not significantly higher than the control value, the presence of multiple rearrangements in two cells suggested that AA might also have a minor effect on spermatocytes. The results of the cytogenetic analysis of first cleavage metaphases agreed well both qualitatively and quantitatively with the outcome of dominant lethal and heritable translocations assays. AA-induced cytotoxicity was monitored by flow cytometric DNA content analysis of testicular cells. By this method, a dose-dependent depletion of mature spermatids after treatment of spermatogonia and a toxic effect upon primary spermatocytes were detected. © 1994.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273 - 284
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this